FAQ About Oral Appliance for Sleep Apnea
Questions About Snoring Mouth Guards & Sleep Apnea Relief
What is an oral appliance therapy?
Oral Appliance Therapy uses FDA approved oral appliances which can be the answer to treating your snoring or Obstructive Sleep Apnea.
Who are good candidates for oral appliance?
Oral appliances are indicated for mild to moderate sleep apnea and snoring, caused by a repetitive obstruction to the airway. CPAP intolerant patients with mild and moderate apnea can be good candidates. People with central sleep apnea will not be good candidates.
How do I know it works for me – This is a very important question.
Our office uses a technology known as Pharyngometer Rhynomete by Eccovision to provide an objective and simple test as to whether the displacement of the mandible can improve the airway or not. This noninvasive diagnostic device can identify if oral appliance can be helpful for your sleep apnea.
How does it work?
During sleep, when throat and tongue muscles are more relaxed, this soft tissue can be the cause of the airway obstruction. But many other factors also are associated with sleep apnea in adults. The tongue is really one of the major factors contributing the blockage of the throat and airway. By gradually repositioning the lower jaw forward, the tongue also moves forward opening the airway and creating better muscle tone in the oral pharyngeal area.
Is it covered under medical or dental insurance?
This treatment is covered under most medical insurance plans. Our patient care coordinator will work with you to maximize your insurance benefits and minimize your out of pocket expense.
We are preferred providers for Care First Blue Cross
Is it covered by Medicare?
Our office particiates with Medicare. Our patient care coordinator will work with you to maximize your benefits.
How long does it take to produce the appliance?
It takes 4 to 6 visits. Then we continue to follow up on the patients care even after they are properly fitted with the appliance.
How can you tell if you or a loved one suffers from OSA?
Some of the signs and symptoms of sleep apnea are listed below.
- Gasping and choking during sleep
- Sleepiness and fatigue during the day
- General tiredness throughout the day
- Snoring with pauses in breathing
- Falling asleep while driving, working and reading
- Heartburn or Acid Reflux
- Lack of concentration – inability to focus
- Morning headaches upon awakening
- Dry mouth
- Restless sleep
- Frequent nighttime urination
- Sexual dysfunction – Erectile dysfunction
- Short term memory loss
- Sore throat
- Irritability and Anxiety
Is it hard to get use to?
No, it does not feel that much different than getting use to an a night guard or orthodontic retainers.
Would it harm my teeth
No, it works as a retainer and or a guard, the teeth are protected by the appliance.
I am happy with my CPAP but it’s inconvenient with travels and when spending the night outside the home. Do I have to give up my CPAP machine?
No, oral appliance can serve as an alternative device to CPAP when needed.
Are oral appliances a valid alternative to CPAP?
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine published a position paper stating that oral appliances are comparable therapy to CPAP for mild and moderate apnea, and a treatment option for patients who wear CPAP and surgery failures. With the acceptation of central sleep apnea, our office utilizes the Eccovision technology to determine if a patient is a candidate for oral appliance for sleep apnea.
If I wear an oral appliance to treat my snoring or apnea, how will this affect my jaw joint?
Morning re-positioner or deprogrammer is a device we fabricate and delivered to the patient the day the appliance is delivered. This device is to help return the patient’s mandible back to its pre-treatment centric position.
Why does snoring occur during sleep?
Snoring is the harsh sound that occurs when air flows past relaxed tissues in your throat, causing the tissues to vibrate as you breathe. The deeper we fall asleep the more relaxed this tissue becomes and the lauder the snoring.